Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In Reykjavik Once Again

Reykjavik and Fanfest are now a constant in my life. For the fifth year in a row I have made the pilgrimage to Iceland. In the beginning, I came by myself and didn't know anyone. In those years the highlight of my journey was Fanfest and the Golden Circle tour. But as the years went on I began to meet people and the trip became more of a social event.

CCP Manifest with Rahne and Scared Panda

The new twist this year was I took a non-stop flight from Chicago to Reykjavik. Icelandair began the service in 2015 and I enjoyed the lack of a layover in Boston. The service only runs four days a week, so I arrived Monday instead of on my usual day of Sunday.

I saw a lot of celebrities, and I'm not just referring to Twitch streamers Rahne, Scared Panda, and Yolo Swagtron. Andrew Groen, the author of The Empires of EVE: A History of the Great Wars of EVE Online, was flying out on his short book tour taking him to Fanfest and PAX East. A bit to my surprise, we found CCP Manifest camping the gate. If he thought he could slip unnoticed into Iceland by avoiding the East Coast airports, he thought wrong.

Bairfhionn Isu and Spanky Ikkala

After taking a nap, I next took the scenic route to the opening of this year's Fanfest beers with Twitter celebrity GabbyHon. I managed to get the scale of the map wrong and we got off the bus a little farther away than expected. I probably should have told her I get lost at least once during a trip. A useful trait when flying around New Eden, but not so much in real life.

We then met up with a few familiar faces, including EVE TV host Spanky Ikkala. With the brewery's location right under the CCP offices, I also spotted a lot of developers and community people. Oh, and the beer. Last year I didn't like any of the beer served. This year, I found a red ale, called Safety Off, pretty good. A little pricey at 1100 krona (sometimes abbreviated ISK), but I'm on vacation, and I drank more expensive drinks at EVE Vegas.

The Pearl (Perlan)
As I type this post, I see snow falling from the skies from my room at the Natura co-located at the local airport. I am not too worried, as the weather can change quite dramatically in the space of an hour. One of my goals is to visit the grounds of The Pearl restaurant. The Pearl sits on top of Öskjuhlíd Hill and has a great view of Reykjavik. Even if I don't make it into the reportedly pricey restaurant itself, I would like to visit the grounds and take some pictures. I have a new camera and want to try it out.

That's the travel update so far. I expect I will turn more towards game mechanics and the future of EVE as the convention nears. But I'm back in Iceland and when I'm not cold, I'm having fun.

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